HC Deb 14 April 1953 vol 514 cc3-4
2. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Labour to make a comprehensive statement on the principles on which he acts in considering applications for deferment and extending deferment of agricultural scientists, experimentalists and research workers from military service during the pendency of their experiments and research in relation to agricultural food production.

Mr. Watkinson

Young men who wish to pursue post-graduate studies at a university or other recognised institution, in agricultural science or any other subject, are normally granted up to three years' further deferment of their calling up provided they would not thereby pass out of liability for National Service. In addition, deferment, which may be indefinite, is granted to a few science graduates with high qualifications for employment on certain projects of the first importance and urgency; these include some agricultural scientists employed on projects important to food production.

Mr. Hughes

Has the Minister considered the particular case I sent him, and does he agree that the quantities of food which would result from the discoveries made by one agricultural scientist would naturally greatly exceed that produced by the work of one agricultural labourer, and will he in the national interest apply that principle to the particular case I have sent him?

Mr. Watkinson

I have considered the particular case the hon. and learned Gentleman has sent to me and I hope to write to him today.

7. Mr. N. Macpherson

asked the Minister of Labour how many agricultural workers in Scotland were registered for National Service in 1952; and how many were called up in the course of the year.

Mr. Watkinson

The first figure asked for is estimated at 2,500; the second is 924.